Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's Truman's Birthday!

September 30 marks the birthday of Alabama native son, Truman Capote.  To learn more about one part of Truman's legacy, join us on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm for Ralph Voss's talk on Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood. This talk is not to be missed!  A small exhibit of  In Cold Blood related items and Capote books, including some from his own personal library, will be on display!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September...A Proclamation

Detail from Abe Lincoln's yarns and stories : a complete collection of the funny and witty anecdotes that made Lincoln famous as America's greatest story teller (Publishers' Bindings Online, and from the Wade Hall Collections of Southern History and Culture)

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1 of 1863.  This historic and immensely significant document is not just something to read about in a textbook, but it is something to experience.  To better understand history, we must take advantage of the primary sources around us, looking beyond interpretation of the past. Newspapers and journals from the period provide unique insight into the sentiment of the day, allowing researchers to look at the world through someone else's eyes.  Editorials, political cartoons, and coverage from different parts of the country will show subtle and not so subtle differences in views. Special Collections Libraries and rich digital resources of primary materials allow you to do this.  So come by, or go online, and take a look at the newspaper and journal coverage of historic events.  A small display of the coverage of the Emancipation Proclamation is on display in the lobby of the Hoole Library -- without interpretation.  Come by, and read a little bit.  Or Visit the National Archives website to see digitized pages of the original proclamation. You'll be glad you did! 

"And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God."    --Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation

Friday, September 21, 2012

100 Years, A Million Dollars, 1000 Strong and a Few Cool Photos!



The Million Dollar Band will be joined on the field tomorrow, September 22, 2012 by Million Dollar Band alums during the halftime show, making the band 1000 strong!

Bonus points if you can tell me the name of the Drum Major in that first picture!   

Friday, September 14, 2012

Beautiful pictures and the wonders of geneology research!

Unidentified couple, ca. 1910.  Gift of Dr. Wade Hall.

This wonderful photograph is just one of the many, many, many (!!) photographs in our collections.  The people in the photograph are unidentified, but someone out there might know who they are.

Many of the Hoole staff had the opportunity to attend the annual Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference which was held in Birmingham last month.  The staff learned a great deal and will be able to pass that knowledge along to our researchers.

One exciting item to note is that the rich online genealogical resource, AfriGeneas will be free for the entire month of October.  So, bookmark it and give it a try!  And if you know who this handsome couple is, please send me a note!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread? Alabama Football of Course!

This bread-shaped gem is a detail of the official Alabama vs. Sewanee football game, held at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama on October 17, 1925. This item is from our extensive collection of University of Alabama published  materials, ranging from course catalogs and yearbooks and everything in between, including an extensive collection of University of Alabama football programs.

The detail here is from the November 14, 1959 game against Georgia Tech, which was played at Legion Field, also in Birmingham.

What is the significance of these two teams together?  Well, we used to play Sewanee and Georgia Tech all the time, and in fact, our fight song, Yea Alabama, features the first line that says, "Let the Sewanee Tiger scratch, Let the Yellow Jacket sting!"  And while we don't sing those lyrics anymore, but start with a rousing "Yea Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!", it's true that the first references in the song are to two schools we just don't play anymore.  A fitting blog post today, what would have been Coach Paul Bryant's 99th birthday!  Roll Tide Roll!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood: A Lecture

Join us on October 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm for an evening with Dr. Ralph Voss, retired professor of English at The University of Alabama. Voss will talk about his new book, Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood (UA Press, 2011).

The talk will be followed by Q&A and a book signing. This event, like all events at Hoole, is free and open to the public.  A small exhibit of Capote materials will be on display in the Hoole Lobby.

"Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood  is the anatomy of the origins of an American literary landmark and its legacy.

Ralph F. Voss was a high school junior in Plainville, Kansas in mid-November of 1959 when four members of the Herbert Clutter family were murdered in Holcomb, Kansas, by “four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives,” an unimaginable horror in a quiet farm community during the Eisenhower years. No one in Kansas or elsewhere could then have foreseen the emergence of Capote’s book–which has never gone out of print, has twice been made into a major motion picture, remains required reading in criminology, American Studies, sociology, and English classes, and has been the source of two recent biographical films.
Voss examines Capote and In Cold Blood from many perspectives, not only as the crowning achievement of Capote’s career, but also as a story in itself, focusing on Capote’s artfully composed text, his extravagant claims for it as reportage, and its larger status in American popular culture.
Voss argues that Capote’s publication of In Cold Blood in 1966 forever transcended his reputation as a first-rate stylist but second-rate writer of  “Southern gothic” fiction; that In Cold Blood actually is a gothic novel, a sophisticated culmination of Capote’s artistic development and interest in lurid regionalism, but one that nonetheless eclipsed him both personally and artistically. He also explores Capote’s famous claim that he created a genre called the “non-fiction novel,” and its status as a foundational work of “true crime” writing as practiced by authors ranging from Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer to James Ellroy, Joe McGinniss, and John Berendt.
Voss also examines Capote’s artful manipulation of the story’s facts and circumstances: his masking of crucial homoerotic elements to enhance its marketability; his need for the killers to remain alive long enough to get the story, and then his need for them to die so that he could complete it; and Capote’s style, his shaping of the narrative, and his selection of details–why it served him to include this and not that, and the effects of such choices—all despite confident declarations that “every word is true.”
Though it’s been nearly 50 years since the Clutter murders and far more gruesome crimes have been documented, In Cold Blood continues to resonate deeply in popular culture. Beyond questions of artistic selection and claims of truth, beyond questions about capital punishment and Capote’s own post-publication dissolution, In Cold Blood’s ongoing relevance stems, argues Voss, from its unmatched role as a touchstone for enduring issues of truth, exploitation, victimization, and the power of narrative."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Welcome Home Dr. Bailey!: UA's 37th President


The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library is honored to join the chorus in welcoming Dr. Guy Bailey back to The University of Alabama!

This video message to Dr. Guy Bailey is a fitting tribute to our our new University of Alabama president. The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System named Dr. Guy Bailey president of The University of Alabama on July 11, 2012. He began his tenure on September 3rd. A Montgomery, Alabama native and a two-time UA graduate, Dr. Bailey comes to us from Texas Tech University, where he served as president since 2008.

To learn a bit more about the history of presidents of The University of Alabama, visit our online exhibit, Presidential Portraits at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library.   This small online exhibit features the portraits that are held in the Hoole Library of former University of Alabama Presidents. 

First University of Alabama President, Alva Woods (1831-1837)

Our collections also feature the records of University of Alabama presidents and other administrators, as well as published and unpublished materials that document the rich history of The University of Alabama.  This includes full runs of the Corolla, the Crimson White, student publications, and much, much more! Come visit us!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fans, Band and Cheers! Roll Tide!

Well, it's that time of year again -- campus is buzzing with excitement following the season opener of Alabama football vs. Michigan in Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.  This image, from our University of Alabama photographs, and featured in Acumen, shows a cheerleader in motion in front of a sea of fans and members of the Million Dollar Band, ca. 1964.  Whether it is 1964 or today, the energy and excitement is palpable, even a full 584 miles away from Bryant-Denny Stadium on The University of Alabama campus! Roll Tide!